Kevin Garnett: ‘I Just Saw Kobe Bryant Turn Into This Animal’

Published 11/25/2021, 11:30 AM EST
Los Angeles Lakers Kobe Bryant losses control of the ball after Minnesota Timberwolves Kevin Garnett,right, knocks ball away during first quarter action at Staples Center, Tuesday November 7, 2006. (Photo by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)


Kobe Bryant’s name still commands a lot of respect among NBA fans, players and executives. The Los Angeles Lakers legend remains an influential figure in the world of NBA, having inspired many younger NBA players and their varied play styles. Kobe Bryant also maintained rivalries with some of the top NBA players during his career. One such player was Kevin Garnett, who recently described Kobe’s famed greatness.

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Garnett was speaking to a podcast called ‘Million Dollaz Worth Of Game’. Here he recalled how Kobe revealed a different side to him while training for an NBA game. Garnett candidly described Kobe as adding new layers to his personality alongside his already dominating play style.

Garnett said, “So I’m doing commercial stuff. That is when I go to UCLA and I saw him at UCLA. He looked totally different. Hit the weights, dunking on people, he was talking sh*t. I mean, he was dunking on people. I mean, he was just a different cat from when I seen him. You know what I’m saying. I just saw him turn into this animal. real sh*t. We was both young and just trying to get it, you know, fighting for it, so…

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Garnett’s vivid description of Kobe’s transformation sent the hosts into audible laughter. Kobe and Garnett developed a fabled rivalry during their active NBA careers. Kobe’s Lakers were on the losing side of the 2008 NBA championship Finals, as Garnett led the Boston Celtics to victory.

Kobe, however, left this 2008 NBA finals disappointment behind him. He subsequently won back-to-back NBA championships in 2009 and 2010. He spent his entire 20-year career with the Lakers winning five NBA championships in total. The 2008 NBA MVP announced his retirement in 2016.

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The Los Angeles Lakers often relied on Kobe Bryant’s individual brilliance to dominate as a team. Kobe secured a three-peat for the Lakers between 2000 and 2002, alongside other personal triumphs. The former Lakers talisman tragically passed away in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Lakers guard Kobe Bryant receives the NBA Most Valuable Player trophy from comissioner David Stern prior to game two of the Western Conference semifinal at Staples Center. (Photo by Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

The NBA named the 18 times NBA All-star the Finals MVP for incredible performances in both the 2009 and 2010 Finals.

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Kobe also won two gold medals in the 2008 Beijing and the 2012 London Olympics with the US men’s national basketball team. His jersey numbers; No. 8 and No. 24 were retired by the Lakers to honor his legacy in the NBA.

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Shalom Saldanha

158 articles

Shalom Saldanha is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Currently pursuing his journalism degree, he has previously worked as a sports corresspondent for India Shorts/Business Upturn. A Giannis Antetokounmpo and Bucks fan, Shalom primarily got into the sport after discovering that he shared a mutual love for Arsenal with the 'Greek Freak'.

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